Monday, October 25, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I worked diligently and got my string blocks I started and mentioned last week all sewn.  What did I do with them you say?  Glad you asked, LOL.  I made them into this Drunkard's Path quilt.  It's part of my Just String Series of quilts that I use for workshops and lectures.  I did mention that more curve quilts would be shown soon.  These blocks were cut with plastic template rulers and they are 7" finished.  If you'd like to see more string quilts, see my post yesterday as string quilts were assigned to my scrap quilting club and we had the "big" reveal.
 I just couldn't stand to throw away the left over pieces from cutting the drunkard's path quilt that I started sewing them into these crumb units.  It was really fun but did remind me that it takes a little time and patience to build crumb blocks.  I'm still working on these and I have no specific project in mind.  I'll just add them to my collection of crumb units I already have on hand.
 This photo shows what I still have left of the project to sew into something.  I'm very proud that I'll end with very little wasted fabric; not that fabric is a shortage around here...
 This quilt, African Inspired, is the assignment given to the scrap quilting club yesterday.  It's a take on the "old fashioned" card trick block.  I decided to utilize some of the "African" influenced fabrics I've been collecting for years during my travels to Paducah, KY - Nashville, TN - and Houston, TX.  I used 35 different prints in the blocks and I didn't even get to touch all the African fabrics in my collection.  I still need to decide on my border for this one.  Yep, this photo decided to turn on it's side.
That's it for now.  To see more design walls, visit Patchwork Times.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Scrap Quilting Club

The scrap quilting club met yesterday so I have a few pictures to show.  This month we made string or crumb quilts and it was time for the big reveal.  No specific pattern was distributed as I wanted each person to create their own setting with the blocks.  Here is a look at the tops we saw yesterday.  I'm sure more will come in next month.  First up is my quilt that will be an addition to my Just Strings Series, Drunkard's Path.  The blocks are 7" finished for a 56" square top.

 Next up is Laura with her string blocks she worked on in class.  She got her blocks completed, sliced them and sewed them back together.  We'll show her completed project next month.
 Kathleen is using her string panel as a border that she will slice and dice.  It will be added to a previous quilt top that we made.  NOTE:  For some unknown blogger blooper, some of the photos that I've rotated will not stay upright when uploaded to blogger.  Please excuse the side ways photos - it's out of my control.
 Kathleen also made this African inspired crumb top.
 Sharon was busy sewing additional crumb blocks in pinks.  She added a few colors here and there as zingers.  It's looking really good.
 Norma used 30's fabrics with a friendship star setting.  It's gorgeous!
 Wanetha's blocks are 6" crumb blocks set on point.  She did a lot of blocks and used a lot of crumbs.  She says she didn't put a dent in the pile.  The border fabric really suits the scraps.
 LeeEtta's quilt is made with the black center sashing in all sizes with odd ball size strips on each side.  The pink and black combination was great.
 Then we had a few more quilts/tops from some of our past sessions ready for viewing.  Judy showed her Strip Tease.  It looks really good with a medium beige instead of white or light beige background.
 Kathleen used green and blue prints in the center strips only and her quilt is really unique.
 Carol is putting together her Split Rail Fence blocks.  She got the top made in class but I'll show that next month.
 Here is Karen's Split Rail Fence top. 
 Karen also has her Strip Tease in which she used a white and black sashing fabric.  It look really good and contrasts perfectly with the jewel tones.
That's it for this month.  Come back next month to see our African Inspired quilt tops.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Design Wall Monday

I've had a very busy week.  When you see my projects, just remember that I still danced 3 evenings this week.  I just got frustrated that my quilt making was suffering due to exercise.  I got proactive instead of reactive and sewed for those few minutes between activities this week.  Now I'm motivated to continue with my projects.

I started the week working on my Star Burst quilt.  I got the borders pieced and added to the center.  This one is now ready for quilting.

 I received some new Dies for my GO! Cutter and cut and sewed a test drunkard's path block.  The units are 3.5" with the 4-patch unit measuring 7".  Not perfect, but it got easier to sew as I went along.  Have you noticed that I'm working with curves again...stay tuned as more curve sewing will be posted to the blog in the next few months.
 I cut and sewed this quilt top over the weekend and had many hours to spare!  This is really a quick quilt to make.  I created a tutorial for this quilt with the cutting instructions using the GO! tumbler 6.5" die.  The sewing was so easy.  I have detail photos of each step with some tips that may help with the sewing.  I'm looking forward to making another one.  I'm in the process of sorting my scraps by setting aside all the larger pieces that I can cut with the die cutter.  Maybe I'll cut tumblers, maybe I'll cut chisels; who knows...
While having so much fun with the previous projects I forgot that my string quilt needs to be ready for my scrap quilting club class this Saturday.  It probably won't happen seeing as I need 128 string blocks and I only have 33 made.  However, if I can get about another 20 or so made I can show 1/4 of my quilt.
Nope, I'm not done yet.  I used my Pineapple Nine Patch block units for chain piecing while working on the previous projects.  I still have a stack of rows to sew but some is definitely better than nothing with this quilt.

My "tell" this week:  I'm giving my sampler quilts lecture to the TnT quilt guild that meets in Glen Carbon this Tuesday.  If you are in the area and want to attend, write me a note and I'll give you the details.

To view more design walls, visit Patchwork Times.
Tea in MO

Bloggers With Accuquilt Products

Sew Cal Gal has been very proactive in forming a  list of Bloggers with Accuquilt Products.  Just from reading her site prior to the creation of this list had me excited about my Accuquilt Go! Cutter.

I've had my cutter a little over a year and I mostly use it to cut 2.5" strips for binding and for half square triangles cut from my scraps.  Recently, I've been cutting other shapes and just today created and uploaded a tutorial on the Go! Tumbler 6.5".  I had so much fun. Click "tutorial" if you'd like to give it a try.

If you have a go cutter and need additional tips, tutorials, or want to view a list of videos available, visit the her site.  You'll love that you did.  If you do not have a cutter and is trying to decide if you want to purchase one, the sites may also be helpful.  In addition you can ask questions of the bloggers.  Sew Cal Gal is the one of the best resources for those having Accuquilt products.

-------------------------- Type-u-later, Tea in MO

Tutorial: Tumbler Quilt Cut with Accuquilt Go!

I joined the group of Accuquilt Bloggers and am so excited that I made my first quilt using one of the dies, the Go! Tumbler designed by Accuquilt.   This tutorial will help with using the cutter to cut your shapes as well as assist with piecing your quilt top together.

For my quilt top, I used the Frolic 45 piece fat quarter bundle from Moda.  I purchased mine from Hancocks of Paducah for such a great price and listed it on my blog in July.  They are now sold out so you'll have to do your own research if you want to use the fabric line I used.

Of the 45 fat quarters, I used 41 of them in the quilt top.  I plan to used the 3 stripe fat quarters for the binding.  For the panel that's included, I decided to make that into a baby quilt at a later date.

We will cut 123 tumblers from the fabrics (2 will be unused)  using Accuquilt Go! Tumbler 6.5" Die.
 The first step is to prepare your Fat Quaters (FQs) for cutting.  Select 4 FQs in no particular order.  I starched the fabrics and pressed them to remove the fold wrinkles.
 Stack them right side up and cut a strip approximately 7" wide; don't have to be a perfect cut, just larger than 6.5". 

Repeat until you have 10 stacks of four 7" strips each.  NOTE:  One of the stacks will have 5 fabrics as you are cutting 41" strips for this quilt.
To make cutting easier in the future, I measured my die and wrote the size strips needed to cut.    I also marked 1/4" outside the blade line marked on the die.  Some owners of the dies draw their line directly on the blade lines; you decide how you want your marks.

You can also cut using 7" squares but you will have a little fabric waste.  You can also cut from 7" strips cut from width of fabric.  You'll get 7 tumblers from each strip.

 Lay your strips (4 stacked right side up) on the die cutter making sure you have the entire die blade covered.  For the method I used to mark my die, I just lay my fabric along the drawn lines.

Place cutting mat on top without disturbing the fabric and run the fabric through the die cutter.

 Flip everything over and slide the die cutter off the fabric. 

You can see the outline of the fabric cuts here.

 This is the result when you pick up the tumblers.

Move the strip and align for next cut on the die.  Cover with protective mat and continue until you've cut 3 times per FQ strip set.    From each strip set you'll have 12 tumblers.  Repeat until you have cut all the strip sets, ending with 123 tumblers. 

 This is what I had left over from cutting the FQ strips.  I'll use these in another project.  You could use for scrappy binding if you wish instead of using the stripe fabrics.
 Here is a photo of all 41 fabrics that I used in the quilt top.  I left this picture a little large so when you click on it you can see the details in the fabrics.

Set aside 13 single tumbler units, making sure not to have any duplicate fabrics in the group.

Before sewing the units together, orientate the tumblers as shown into two stacks.  Flip the right stack on top of the left stack.  You will notice that the cutter has provided nice even cuts to align the units.  After they are sewn, you will not have to trim any "dog ears" from the units.  Yippee!

Sew with a precise 1/4" seam.
Here is the front of a sewn unit.

 And here is the back of the unit.  I press my seams open to that the quilt top will be flat.  Another reason is that I can press the seams as I go rather than wait until the entire row has been pieced.  If you prefer to press seams to one side, wait until you have sewn the rows together so you know which direction to press them.

Sew together a total of 55 pairs.
 TIP:  I didn't use pins to sew the first few units and when I got to the bottom, I had to adjust the seam a little.  I found that if I put a pin in the near the bottom edge of the seam, it kept the unit aligned.  I pulled out the pin right as I neared it.  PERFECT!

Set aside 11 tumbler pairs, making sure not to have any duplicate fabrics in the group.

Sew the remaining 44 pairs into 4-pieced units.  You will have 22 each 4-pieced tumbler units.  Note that I pinned the the seam to ease the weight of the units during sewing.

Lay out the 4-piece tumbler units, 2 in each row for a total of 11 rows, off setting them as shown in the photo.

Next you'll add one single tumbler and one 2-piece tumbler unit to each row.  You can add both of the units to the end, or you can place the 2-piece unit between the 4-piece units or at the beginning or end of the row.  This allows for some flexibility in arranged the units.  I start at the top and add my units to space the fabrics as needed.  Have fun and enjoy the process!
After you find an arrangement you like, I recommend taking a digital photo of your layout so if you forget which unit goes where, you have a visual layout available.

Sew the units together to form 11 rows. 
Sew two rows together, pinning at the intersections.  I back stitched at the beginning and ending of each line as I sew the rows together since I will not be adding a border to this top.  I did this so that the seams will not become unsewn.

Here is close up of part of a row sewn together.  The seams match pretty good; a good indication that my 1/4" seams is pretty much on spot.
Another thing I do is stay stitch the outside edge when I have not back stitched.  In this quilt, that would be the top and bottom row.  Again, this keeps seams from becoming unsewn.  If you use a long arm quilter to quilt your quilts with pieced borders or quilts without borders, they'll thank you for taking this extra step.

I sewed my rows into 3 sections with 3 rows attached and a fourth section with 2 rows attached.  (Sorry in the photo I pinned the top two sections before taking the photo.) Then I sewed the 4 row units into 2 units; then the 2 units into a nice size quilt top.

And here is my quilt top!  It measures 66.5" in length.  The width is a little tricky.  The top edge is 50.5" where I stay stitched; if you look at the seam line between row 1 and 2, it's 48.5".  That's the width you'd actually use for quilt measurement purposes.  So, my quilt is 48.5" x 66.5".
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and if you make a quilt, let me know.
Tea in MO